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A film – also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture or photoplay – is a work of visual art that simulates experience and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are usually accompanied by sounds and, rarely, other sensory stimuli. The term “cinema”, short for cinematography, is often used for filmmaking and the film industry and the resulting art form.

Moving images in a film are created by photographing real scenes with a motion-picture camera, drawing or photographing miniatures using traditional animation techniques, CGI and computer animation, or a combination of some or all of these techniques, and other visual effect

Before the introduction of digital production, series of still images were recorded on a strip of chemically sensitive celluloid (photographic film stock), usually at a rate of 24 frames per second. Images are transmitted through a movie projector at the same rate as they were recorded, with a Geneva drive ensuring that each frame remains constant during its brief projection. A rolling shutter creates stroboscopic intervals of darkness, but the viewer does not notice the interruptions due to flicker fusion. The apparent motion on the screen is the result of the fact that the visual sense cannot detect individual images at high speed, so the impressions of the images blend with the dark interior and thus join together to create the illusion of a moving image. An analog optical soundtrack (a graphic recording of spoken word, music, and other sounds) accompanies a portion of the film reserved exclusively for it, and is not projected.

Contemporary films are usually fully digital through the entire process of production, distribution and exhibition.

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